NEW ORLEANS (CBSNewYork/AP) — Muhammad Ali’s daughter knocked down rumors of her father being near death Sunday, saying he was at home watching the Super Bowl.
May May Ali said she talked to her father Sunday morning on the phone and he was fine. She said he was watching the Super Bowl at home in Arizona, wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey.
“He’s fine, in fact he was talking well this morning,” she told The Associated Press. “These rumors pop up every once in a while but there’s nothing to them.”
The family later posted a photo on Twitter of Ali sitting in a chair wearing a Ray Lewis T-shirt.
“He particularly enjoyed Beyonce’s halftime show,” Ali’s family said in a message to the Chicago Sun-Times. “He didn’t blink.”
Tweeted Muhammad’s daughter Laila Ali: “2 all concerned, my father is the same as usual. I spoke 2 his wife today and she said he is totally fine & was watching the game! Thanks!”
The rumors were started by a report in a British tabloid quoting Ali’s brother, Rahman, as saying the former heavyweight champion was near death. Rahman, though, said he hadn’t seen his brother since last summer and had no contact with the family.
The report was widely repeated on the Internet, drawing expressions of condolences on Twitter and Facebook.
Ali suffers from Parkinson’s disease. He celebrated his 71st birthday last month.
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